Kalle Palander worked up to 10 hours daily for 40 days during the summer to rehab his surgically repaired left knee. A sleep-deprived Bode Miller still nearly beat him .
Palander won a giant slalom yesterday in Alta Badia, Italy, for his 13th World Cup victory and first since tearing knee ligaments in March at the World Cup finals. Miller, who keeps waking up at night and is irritable the next day, was right behind the Finn after a charge in the second run.
Palander also led after the first run and covered the steep and narrow Gran Risa course in a combined time of 2 minutes 28.82 seconds. Miller moved up from seventh place to finish 51-hundredths of a second behind.
Miller again complained about a new US team rule that he says has affected his sleeping pattern. The rule requires that he stay in the team hotel, as opposed to his personal motor home.
"It's completely counterproductive for me," Miller said. "I need that rest to maintain that level of training and condition."
Miller said he's received "reprimands" from his team for being outspoken about the issue.
"I'll live by the rules, but I'm not going to censor myself with what I say about it," he said. "The amount of flexibility they've shown in the past is gone. It's no longer there for whatever reason. Hopefully I can last another month or two before I totally detonate."
The US team isn't budging.
"I'm confident we're doing the right thing and we're going to stay the course," coach Phil McNichol said. "Bode's skiing well and it's working for him."
This was Miller's second top-three finish in three days -- he won a super-giant slalom in Val Gardena Friday.
"I go to bed at 10:30-11 and I wake up every night at 2-2:15 for 45 minutes, then again at 4:45 or 5," Miller said.
"I started a book at 4:45 a.m. this morning and by the time my alarm went off I was at page 160. It's terrible. I've been in a terrible mood every day."